Uresti pension hearing postponed
Convicted felon and former state Sen. Carlo Uresti will have to wait a couple of weeks to find out if he can start collecting his state pension.
On Monday, a federal judge rescheduled a hearing on Uresti’s request to start receiving his pension. It had been set for Tuesday morning, but will be Aug. 14 instead.
John Ritenour Jr., Uresti’s court-appointed lawyer, asked for the postponement in a Sunday court filing because he said “he has not sufficiently mastered the issues at hand such that he could attempt to reach a negotiated resolution.”
A July 20 court filing said Uresti needs the pension checks because he “doesn’t have the money to survive.” Attorney Michael McCrum, part of Uresti’s legal defense team during a five-week trial that ended in his conviction on 11 felony charges in February, filed the court document.
Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra last week, though, ruled McCrum can’t appear on Uresti’s behalf now that the disgraced ex-lawmaker has a court-appointed lawyer handling his appeal.
Uresti has valued his pension at more than $80,000 a year, a benefit for having served 21 years in the state Legislature. He resigned last month from the Senate just days before the judge sentenced him to 12 years in federal prison and ordered him to pay $6.3 million to his victims. They were investors in a oil field services company that was a Ponzi scheme.
Prosecutors have opposed to Uresti’s pension request, saying in a Friday court filing that he and his estranged wife want to retain control of property that rightfully belongs to his victims.
Before Ezra’s ruling Monday, prosecutors asked that Tuesday’s hearing go forward as scheduled. They argued that Uresti is not entitled to have a court-appointed lawyer paid for by taxpayers representing him on matters related to the enforcement of the criminal judgment.
Prosecutors added that Uresti, who gave up his law license earlier this year rather than face disciplinary action, could represent himself during the hearing.
Patrick Danner is a staff writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @AlamoPD